THE TRUTH ABOUT BREAD – GOOD OR BAD?
Being gluten-free is one of the most popular diet trends around the world, but the number of people who actually need to avoid gluten is relatively small.
Bread is often demonised as a bad carbohydrate which make us sick and destroys our digestive track. That’s simply not true. It is true that some people react to bread, and few people suffer from celiac disease ( a hereditary autoimmune condition). Last year, I met Benjamin Lebwohl, a gastroenterologist from New York. I met him at the World Medical Congress (I attended the congress in November 2019, Paris). During the Congress days he was giving a presentation saying that he sees patients every day, who are on a gluten-free diet and don’t need to be. They are on the no bread and no gluten diet because they believe it to be healthier, but it’s not.
What is the problem then? And why do so many people bloat nowadays?
WHY YOU BLOAT
In reality most of us can digest bread really well. In fact, a recent study found that 86% of people who believed they were gluten allergic, could tolerate gluten and bread. In Ayurveda we consider bread to be an important part of our diet. If you’re someone who bloats after eating bread it’s usually because of:
- Low quality bread
- White refined flour used in the bread making
- Industrial supermarket bread
- Bleach in the flour
- Emulsifiers (often used in bread to improve the size of bubbles in the bread dough)
Most bread today is made of “high speeding” mixes and emulsifiers, which means that the there’s less protein in the wheat. If you are someone who buys bread from the supermarket or bread from a local bakery, you can be sure that the bread is of low quality wheat with preservatives to keep the bread moist. Many bakeries sell whole-wheat bread but often the bread contain 80% white wheat and 20% whole-wheat.
Unless you get your bread from a good organic bakery that makes rustic rye bread and good quality sour dough bread, you can’t trust that your bakery or the supermarket sell healthy bread. If you live in Scandinavia, you are lucky. Most supermarkets sell delicious whole-some rye-bread.
NOT A NORMAL HUMAN DIET
It’s rarely bread you react too, but more likely to the type of bread you consume (low quality wheat, quick production methods, overuse of yeast and emulsifiers).
Next time you eat bread, be aware of what bread you consume and where it’s been produced. If you react to the bread you eat and it doesn’t feel healthy for your system, then bring your own bread to work or buy bread from a good quality bakery.
Best bread for human health is always: 100% rye bread, barley bread, whole-wheat and sourdough bread. If you have done tests which shows you are celiac, then avoid bread, and choose a diet which feels good and easy on your digestion.
STRESS AND BLOATING
Stress puts pressure on your digestive system. In Ayurveda it is very common to see Vata Dosha or people with a Vata imbalance suffer from bloating, stomach aches, constipation and other digestive issues. What I notice with clients is this: It is often stress and anxiety that causes stomach bloating, and very rarely the foods they eat.
When our Agni (digestive fire energy) is balanced, we digest foods easily. When our system is anxious or stressed we end up digesting poorly, which may lead to the creation of bloating.